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Connect and Protect: Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Response Program


Additional Links

Notice of Funding Opportunity (
Solicitation Overview


Application Deadline: May 1, 2024


Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)


Provides funding to develop new or enhance existing law enforcement and behavioral health collaboration initiatives designed to improve responses to and outcomes for individuals with mental health disorders (MHDs) or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (MHSUDs) who come into contact with law enforcement. Assists agencies with planning and implementing collaborative projects targeting preliminarily qualified individuals with MHDs or MHSUDs to enhance public health and public safety in communities.

Program objectives include:

  • Design and implement crisis response programs based on current best practice to improve law enforcement encounters with individuals with MHDs or co-occurring MHSUDs
  • Plan and deliver a crisis response program, through coordination between law enforcement and a mental health agency, that includes services to improve the response
  • Enhance officer knowledge and skills in responding to community members with MHDs or co-occurring MHSUDs
  • Hire and train qualified staff to design and implement a police-mental health collaboration program (PMHC)
  • Engage residents through outreach and education and build positive community relations and trust through public communication strategies to improve public health/public safety
  • Learn, incorporate, and build upon successful PMHC strategies from the Bureau of Justice Assistance's 14 law enforcement-mental health learning sites
  • Enhance knowledge and capacity to identify and provide veteran-specific services
  • Engage in strategic planning initiatives at the state, tribal and local level to form multidisciplinary stakeholder teams to support police officers and mental health crisis workers responding together to mental health calls
  • Increase multi-layered approaches, such as case management, homeless outreach teams (HOT), mobile crisis, and co-response, to meet the needs of people in crisis
  • Upgrade use of technology to include software programs, training, and data collection
  • Increase agencies' capacity to develop and sustain the program by collecting data to inform practices, create stakeholder groups, develop policy, and encourage professional development

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $550,000 per year
Project period: 3 years
Estimated number of awards: 19
Estimated total program funding: $10,450,000

Applicants must provide matching funds for a portion of the project. In years 1 and 2 of the grant a 20% match is required, and a 40% match is required in year 3. Matching funds can be cash and/or in-kind contributions and must be from non-federal sources.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants include:

  • States
  • City, township, county, and special district governments
  • Federally recognized Indian tribal governments
  • Public and state-controlled institutions of higher education
  • Agencies with a different legal status are eligible to apply only if they meet the following 2 requirements:
    • Applicant is designated by the state mental health authority to provide services as a unit of the state or local government
    • Applicant must attach documentation to support this designation

Funding priority consideration areas include:

  1. Proposals that promote racial equity and support the removal of barriers to access and opportunity for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, adversely affected by inequality, and disproportionately impacted by crime, violence, and victimization.
  2. Proposals that address 1 or more programmatic priorities, including:
    • Promote effective strategies for the identification and treatment of females who have been incarcerated with MHD or co-occurring MHSUDs
    • Promote effective strategies to identify and reduce the risk of harm to individuals with MHDs or co-occurring MHSUDs who encounter law enforcement and improve public safety
    • Propose interventions that have been shown by empirical evidence to reduce recidivism and using validated assessment tools to target incarcerated individuals with a moderate or high risk of recidivism and a need for treatment services as appropriate

To receive funding priority consideration, applicants must identify which priority consideration is being sought in the proposal abstract, and describe how it will be addressed in the proposal narrative.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Capacity Building • Equipment • New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information about the online application process can be found in the funding announcement.

Applications must be submitted electronically through a 2-step process:

  • Step 1: Applicants will submit an SF-424 and an SF-LLL in by the May 2, 2024 deadline.
  • Step 2: Applicants will submit the full application, including attachments, in the JustGrants grants management system by the May 6, 2024 deadline.

Applicant webinar recording


For questions on submitting in

For questions on submitting in JustGrants:

For programmatic and technical questions:
Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Response Center
TTY at 301-240-6310

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Planning and Coalition Building • Crime Reduction • Justice System • Mental Health • Substance Use Disorder